online journalism

First Reporter Day of HELL!

Now, while the title to this post might seem condemning to being a reporter and working at a newspaper, it is not. Just clearing that up first.

I have been on the Daily Iowan for as long as the Spring 2011 semester has been in session, so not very long. Being a real, actual reporter is vastly different from just blogging and even different from writing stories/pieces for a reporting and writing class.

On meeting on Sunday, I decided to take on a little too much. I felt bad about missing the first half week/weekend of reporting so I decided to make-up for it by taking as many stories as I could—including two that were due today. I don’t have class on Mondays, it won’t be a big deal. Could I have been any more of a newbie?

I did some pre-reporting on Sunday night to prepare for my newsroom day Monday and to not avail—it would not be enough. I came into the newsroom at 11 a.m. and here I sit at 7:16 p.m. JUST finishing one article and having to scrap the other due to lack of time, sources, and cooperation. I couldn’t be any more discouraged, peeved, or exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reporting and it’s exciting but today just was not my day. Sources weren’t calling me back, they were refusing to speak to me, or they just didn’t know squat. I then psyched myself out with capturing audio with an interview and kind of just threw that in the air hoping it would work out. Luckily it kind of did.

I’ve almost cried about three times due to feeling so helpless and lost, but…I made it.

I’m almost to the finish line after countless phone calls, voicemails, hang-ups, computer mishaps, complete draft do-overs, and various pages of notes.

And if everyone doesn’t read my article tomorrow, I might hunt you down and make you because my sanity went into it.

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